Monday, January 14, 2008

Winter, Week 1 Meeting - Part II

Situating I.IV

We began our discussion by recalling the place of this chapter in the structure of Division I: we are investigating dasein as being-in-the-world; I.III analysed the world, I.V will cover being-in, and I.IV discusses ‘who’ (not ‘what’) it is that is in the everyday world.

Last time, we saw that not just equipment, but also other cases of dasein show up within the work-world. How, then, do they show up? We charted the ontological structures common to both equipment and others (click the chart to see it full-size):

1 comment:

nate said...

Here's a possible discussion question about I.3 and I.4: Heidegger says that when we understand an entity's being, we understand whatever it is that makes two basic differences -- first, an entity's "what-being" is what makes the difference between its being the kind of entity it is and being some other kind of entity (e.g., a piece of equipment, ready-to-hand, rather than a mere thing, present-at-hand), and second, an entity's "that-being" is what makes the difference between its being around (its 'existing,' loosely speaking) and its not being around (not existing).

Now, it's not so hard to see that for a ready-to-hand entity, its 'what-being' is what we understand when we can make it intelligible in terms of the in-order-to structure -- in other words, when we can (a) use it purposively in a certain activity (e.g., hammering with a hammer), (b) use it appropriately as it fits with the surrounding context of equipment (hammering the nail into the wood), and (c) use it towards the completion of the task at hand (securing the floorboards of a house). (A), (b) and (c) are the structural items that compose the in-order-to relation and the terms in which we understand what it is to be a piece of equipment. The 'that-being' of a piece of equipment is its being available or unavailable to play its characteristic role -- that is, the hammer is around just in case one can pick it right up and drive nails, and it's not around if it's missing or broken or being borrowed.

The question is, what would be the counterpart things we understand when we understand the what-being and that-being of others? (It might help to answer this question by first considering what the what-being and that-being of dasein would be.) In other words, in virtue of what is an entity intelligible as another case of dasein, rather than as a piece of equipment or a thing? And what makes the difference between another case of dasein's being around and not being around?